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UAE mega projects among world's 'most innovative, least wasteful'

Projects recognized for use of 4D digital models that can enhance productivity and collaboration

  • Nas ArenaImage Credit: Supplied
  • Legoland Dubai opens
    Image Credit: Virendra Saklani
  • Workers at a construction site in Dubai.Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News Archives
  • Visitors inside Miniland at Legoland in Dubai Parks & ResortsImage Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: At least five mega infrastructure projects in Dubai have been named among the most innovative and least wasteful in the world.

The Castle Kingdom at Legoland Dubai, Abu Dhabi Midfield Terminal, Al Habtoor City Theatre, Dubai Opera and NAS Arena have won the thumbs up of global jurors at the Tekla Global Building Information Modeling (BIM) Awards for leading the use of 4D digital models that can “enhance productivity and collaboration.”

Now in its 11th year, the awards seeks to celebrate the innovation that goes into creating complex and iconic structures around the world. Experts agree that the recognition, which was announced ahead of The Big 5 Construction exhibition, is testament to the fact that the UAE government is driving the adoption of BIM in infrastructure projects.

A perfect example is the Lego Castle, one of the attractions at Legoland Dubai - a family destination offering rides, models and building experiences - that was completed on time and on budget, thanks to the use of BIM technology. The Lego Castle was named winner in the Small Projects category. 

“Using BIM, architects, engineers and contractors visualized questions and errors, gained faster approvals, and opened Legoland Dubai on time and on budget. BIM will be essential for the UAE’s upcoming leisure and tourism destinations,” said Omar Uwayda, General Manager, Amana Industries.

The Dubai Municipality requires mega projects to use building information modeling systems during the construction phase. The technology is believed to lower costs, as well as the time spent on building a project.

“This year has been a seminal moment for GCC construction innovation, and 2017 will see continued momentum with government BIM directives, 3D printing and pre-fabrication, and BIM gaining wider take-up. The UAE’s strong showing in international awards demonstrates the country’s standing as a global BIM leader,” said Paul Wallett, Regional Director of Trimble Solutions Middle East.

There is a major opportunity for general contractors, which work on the majority of GCC projects.

“In 2017, technology innovation will be the most important investment for general contractors to gain a competitive advantage. General contractors can start small on BIM with rebar fabrication or concrete pouring to detect clashes, have less waste, and less re-work on-site,” added Wallett.

Trimble is also seeing strong GCC response to the recent interoperability partnership between Trimble and Autodesk, which allows the industry to share open models, files, and data.

At The Big 5, Trimble is partnering with its construction technology partner Sitech Gulf, which delivers innovative geospatial hardware solutions that cover the entire construction project lifecycle.

The UAE projects that won the jurors’ hearts:

Legoland Castle Kingdom, Dubai

Lego castleOne of the attractions at Legoland Dubai, the Lego Castle features a medieval and fantasy theme, allowing “younger knights and princesses” to have fun.  Not to be missed inside the life-size castle is the Dragon coaster. Considered a “fast track” venture, the construction of Legoland achieved the deadline on time. The project won the “small projects” category of the BIM Awards.

NAS Arena Indoor Futsal and Volleyball Stadium Dubai

Nas ArenaThe winner in the “sports and recreation category,” the NAS arena is intended to accommodate 5,840 spectators of any international or local tournament.  It is designed to host games like futsal, volleyball, basketball, badminton, boxing, fencing, tennis, gymnastics and judo, among others.

Midfield Terminal Complex, Abu Dhabi

TRR-ABU DHABI-MTB The X-shaped airport terminal complex in the UAE capital won the “public projects” category. It is part of the progressive development plan of Abu Dhabi 2030, which seeks to transform the “desert into the ‘Garden of the Gulf’ through a design that responds to its natural environment.” It is envisioned to have 49 gates and attract 50 million passengers every year.

Al Habtoor City Theatre, Dubai

The winner in the “commercial category” the Al Habtoor City Theatre is one of the projects set on the banks of the newly opened Dubai Water Canal. The mega facility, designed to host live shows, will have a performance floor that will be “fully submerged” in the pool area, spiral staircases  six podium floors, a large concaved screen structure for the show projection screen, among many others.

Source: Tekla BIM Awards 2016

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